31 Great Gift Ideas for Camper and RV Owners
‘Tis the season for gift-giving! Whether you’re shopping for birthdays, special occasions, or upcoming holidays, we’ve got you covered. We scoured the web to find the most creative and thoughtful gifts for the roaming adventurers on your list, and created a timeless list featuring some of our favorites.
We think you’ll find something for everyone—from local recreational campers to van-lifers to your friends who RV seasonally. This list features gifts big and small and offers options within a variety of price-points. Here are 31 of the best gift ideas for campers and RV owners on your list. The list contains also affiliate links.
- Welcome mat. Everyone living on the road needs their very own mat to welcome guests to their traveling abode. Most RV-ers put out a welcome mat of some sort when they park for more than a day or two at a time. Plus, it’s a great way to showcase creativity and thoughtfulness in gift-giving. We like this plaid RV welcome mat with personalization options via Amazon or this colorful, festive option via Current.
- Camp chairs. No Adventuremobile (trademark pending!) is complete without at least one set of functional, comfortable camp chairs. We like these Timber Ridge Director’s Chairs. They’re easy to fold and unfold, highly packable, and light enough to easily carry wherever you want to sit and take a load off for a while. In the mood to snuggle? Try this Kelty Low Loveseat Chair.
- Tablecloths. Whether traveling via RV, campervan, or sleeping in tents every night, a good tablecloth can make a world of difference for meal prep and cooking. Help keep your picnic tables tidy, and add a bit of color and flair to your campsite. (Bonus points if they’re wipeable and thus easy to keep clean themselves.) We think when it comes to tablecloths, the funkier the better. Try this Camping Trails tablecloth from Camping World, or this vibrant option from World Market.
- Solar-powered USB charger. Keep your phone and other important devices charged whenever the sun is shining. Solar chargers are game-changers when you’re on the road, and this JETSUN Solar Charger Power Bank ranks #1 on Lifewire’s list of “Best Portable Solar Chargers to Buy in 2018.” It’s specifically designed for outdoor camping, is shockproof, and comes with a lifetime warranty. Just leave it on top of your dashboard as you’re driving and let the sun charge it while you travel. Then use one of its two USB ports to charge your phone, iPad, or small portable electronics.
- Travel games. A collection of travel games is a great addition to any RV and/or camping trip, on top of being a great trick to have up your sleeve whenever you need to keep kids (and adults) entertained during long travel days or rain delays. If the travelers you’re shopping for are short on space and trying to stay light on weight, opt for small, easily packable games like Bananagrams, Wilderness Uno, or Farkle. If you have a bit more room and a bigger budget to work with, this cornhole set is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
- Hammocks. A great gift for any adventurer on your list, hammocks are a surefire way to foster relaxation on any big road trip. As a bonus, they double as a comfy place to sleep if you’re not worried about any storms coming in. Hammocks come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, but we like this Eno Double Nest Hammock.
- Lantern. No campsite is complete without a lantern or two for dark nights before you get the fire going (or in the case of burn bans). They’re also great for middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. Solar-powered lanterns trump battery-powered options for the simple reason that they’re not only greener to use, but batteries cost money and don’t last forever. Plus, you can’t always find batteries when you need them. These rechargeable LED lanterns are solar-powered, hangable, and come with the added bonus of including a USB port for cell phone chargers.
- Swiss Army Knife. Swiss Army Knives are the dynamic, timeless gifts that never go out of style. The knives themselves come in sizes small, medium, and large, and in addition to the trusty standard edition of the knife, there are also a variety of collections featuring beautiful wood knives, like this Swiss Champ Wood, and other options sure to fit anyone on your list.
- Travel journal. Travel journals make fantastic, thoughtful gifts for anyone who spends any amount of time on the road. We like this clever “Journey” journal, where you can plot your route on the cover and also includes a 30-day trip journal, and a compartment to store receipts and other small ephemera.
- Rearview mirror accessory. Fuzzy dice are a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean rearview mirror accessories have to be. Something fun to hang from the rearview mirror—like this mini macrame plant hanger, or this one that doubles as a cinnamon-scented air freshener—is a simple way to add some personality to an RV or any road-worthy vehicle. Just make sure whatever you choose doesn’t obstruct the driver’s vision.
- Happy Camper ornament. Perfect as both a stocking stuffer and/or RV-warming gift, a camping-specific ornament is a perfect way to celebrate the nomadic lifestyle. We like this customizable option, this wood ornament, or if you’re looking to mix traditional with a pop of shimmering color, this shiny orb checks those boxes.
- Keychain. Keychains (and especially keychains with lights) make another great stocking stuffer or small RV-warming gift idea. Everyone needs a keychain, so why not make it a memorable one? We like this vintage camper keychain, this “Camping Awaits” engraved, silver keychain (which includes a bottle opener), and these retro RV key fobs. Or, if more than one person on your list needs a keychain, this three-pack of boots will get the job done.
- Emergency roadside kit. No road trip or camping adventure is complete without an emergency roadside kit. They’re great to have in any situation, for yourself or your fellow travelers. This Deluxe Emergency Roadside Kit includes a First-Aid Kit, jumper cables, shovel, reflective safety best, and everything else you might need an emergency on the road. This sort of gift is both thoughtful and practical and can be easily customized for a variety of trips and off-road adventures.
- Flat Top Griddle. A flat top griddle, like this one from Camp Chef, can transform any two burners into a professional-grade surface, primed for pancakes, fajitas, and all manner of cooking for large groups or hungry families. It’s built to minimize hot spots and to be easy to clean. Pre-seasoned, this griddle is ready to use out of the box and is sure to delight any Top Chef on your gift-giving list.
- Audiobooks and/or Books on CD. Interesting audiobooks and/or books on CD are a definite perk of long road trips and a surefire way to thrill and entertain any RV owner or camper on your list. Scout their Goodreads “To-read” list, and then see which of those books you can find with audio versions, choose books on CD based on preferred genres, or sign them up for an audiobook subscription service, like Audible.com, Audiobooks.com, or Downpour.com. If you’re looking for a place to start, try this Michael Crichton collection, which includes Airframe, The Lost World, and Timeline.
- Kindle E-Reader (or other e-readers). While we’re partial to the original Kindle e-reader, there are so many great options out there that it’s truly hard to go wrong as long as you are getting a well-reviewed version that will work for your friend or loved one. A few things to consider: Are they more likely to read at night? If so, you’ll want an e-reader that doesn’t display blue light, which can help keep them up after they finish reading. Similarly, if they’re prone to reading outside, you’ll want to make sure you get a glare-free version. Other considerations include wifi capacity, screen size, weight, and price points, as well as whether or not your e-reader comes with any perks like an Audible subscription.
- Water filter. Especially if you’re looking for a gift for someone who likes backcountry and off-grid camping, few things can be more lifesaving than a good water filter. In a worst-case scenario, humans can go up to three weeks without food. Without water, though? Three days. We recommend a water filter that’s portable, lightweight, and can be used in a variety of locations and scenarios, such as this Katadyn pocket water filter, this Platypus gravity filter, a LifeStraw, or a Sawyer.
- Eco-friendly fire-starters. Similarly, being able to build a fire in any conditions can be a life-saving skill, and having a few fire-starting materials can make the difference between life and death in a bad winter storm. Good items to consider in a fire-starting kit include firestarter packets or strikers or tabs, an electric or propane lighter or waterproof matches, or you can even consider buying a pre-made kit. (Just make sure that whoever you’re giving the fire-starting kit to can actually consistently make fires. Having the gear is pretty useless if they don’t also have the skills.)
- Good (non-digital) camera. What good are all the experiences and memories made on the road or while camping if there’s no record to help you keep them? That’s where a good camera can come in handy. And while your phone works, there’s just something special about using an actual point-and-shoot camera. Maybe it’s nostalgia. But taking pictures and capturing memories is one of our favorite parts of being outside. Maybe a Polaroid?
- Unbreakable drinking glasses. When space is at a premium you want things to last. Ideally, they’re pretty much indestructible. This is especially true when you’re talking about something that’s normally pretty easily broken, like drinking glasses, for instance. We’re especially fond of stainless steel, Tritan, and other indestructible materials, but it’s also pretty great when they’re recycled.
- Air fresheners. Look, we’ve all been there. When you’re spending a bunch of time outside it’s easy for things to get, well, funky. And that’s where having air fresheners handy can come, well, in handy. You can go for activated charcoal, old school with the old mirror-hang tabs, or try to be funny with Sasquatch. No matter what you choose, though, help friends and family beat the funk.
- Personalized signs. When you live on the road, it’s the little things that help make a place home. One way you can help your friends and family make their Adventuremobiles a little more homey and cozy? By helping them personalize. We recommend working with a local artist if at all possible, or consider one of the many options for personalized signs on Amazon—most of which are offered by individual artists.
- His/her car seat covers. Again, Etsy is a great place to work with small businesses and individual artists to help create something unique for your family and friends who spend all their time on the road. And if you don’t see something that jumps out, you can always consider commissioning something from an artist to help make it even more personal!
- Something cool for pets (and dogs specifically). Few things are better than sharing adventures with your best canine or feline friend, and many RVers treasure sharing all the places they see with their pets. Keeping that in mind, consider something that might help make their pet’s adventures a little easier, whether that’s chew toys, games, or gear such as a seat belt attachment. Even small gifts can go a long way when you’re spoiling a friend’s pup.
- Blankets. When it comes to camping in the cold, there are never enough blankets. Anyone living on the road/adventuring outside knows you can never have enough blankets. Bonus points for blankets that don’t take up much space, such as packable down blankets like those offered by Black Diamond or Rumpl.
- Solar shower. We love the versatility of our Nemo Helio portable shower, and the fact that we can hang it up in the morning and take a hot shower that afternoon is a pretty wonderful thing. Pair it with some fast-drying towels and biodegradable soap and camping trips will be made.
- Books! There are few things better that reading. Some people may prefer audiobooks or e-readers, but for some of us, there’s just something about the smell of a well-loved book, the softness of the pages. Consider books tied to places that may be special to your friends or family, or even more general books about travel or the open road. Maybe some Edward Abbey, Jon Krakauer, Annie Dillard, or Rachel Carson. Nonfiction is always good when you want to learn, and fiction is great for getting your imagination going. There are so many options!
- National Park map (so you can keep track of where you’re going and where you’ve been!). There are so many great maps out there, but we’re especially fond of this one from Parks Project, as it helps fund cleanups, trail restorations, invasive plant removal & more!
- Happy Camper mug. After all, if they weren’t enjoying themselves, they’d probably stop, right? And everyone needs a good coffee mug!
- RV survival kit. As we’ve noted before, there’s a lot that can go wrong out there, especially if you’re camping in the backcountry. It pays to be prepared. This RV survival kit is one of our favorites—and just might save a life or several.
- Travel thermos/cup. When it comes to enjoying your coffee or tea on the road, it’s important it stays hot. A good travel thermos is an underappreciated gift, but if you find the right one, you can be sure your friend or loved one will think of you everytime they use their mug. We’re partial to Stanley mugs, but any good vacuum-sealed and well-insulated mug can do the trick.
Of course, there are plenty of other great options out there, too. Remember that for many campers, space is at a premium and versatility is key. Do your research, and you just may end up giving the best gift they get all year!